Local time: 10:40
Manisa is a large city in Turkey's Aegean Region. In Ottoman times, many of the sons of sultans received their education in Manisa and the city is commonly known as "the city of shahzades" (Şehzadeler şehri) in Turkey, a distinctive title it shares only with Amasya and Trabzon.
The 16th century Sultan Mosque was built for Ayşe Hafsa Sultan, Süleyman the Magnificent's mother. In her honor, the Mesir Macunu Festival (featuring spiced paste in the form of candy, and supposed to restore health, youth and potency, also known in recent years as the "Turkish Viagra") is held every year in March, in the grounds of this mosque.
The mosque is part of a large külliye -a religious compound- among whose buildings the hospital "darüşşifa" is particularly notable. Focused on mental diseases, the medical center was in activity until the beginning of the 20th century
The Spil Mount National Park (Spil Dağı Milli Parkı) includes a richly forested area, hot springs, and the famous "crying rock" of Niobe, and the carving of Goddess Cybele (Mother Earth). It boasts about 120 kinds of native plants, especially wild tulips known as Anemone. This park provides opportunities for mountaineering and camping.
Akhisar (or Tepe Mezarlığı (hill cemetery)), the ancient city of Thyatira, was one of the seven churches of the Book of Revelation. More recently, it is an important commercial center in the province.
The ruins of the ancient city of Philadelphia, another of the Seven Churches, lay in the Alaşehir area.